Merlin, the magus who served as a tutor to young Arthur Pendragon before he became king, has become almost universally known as the mentor to all those youth seeking wisdom, spiritual values, and material prosperity. Merlin is one of the most fascinating figures in the Welsh literature and the Arthurian legend. Merlin is a man of mystery and magic; contradiction and controversy surrounded his life. He wore many hats: he was a wizard or sorcerer, a prophet, a bard, an adviser and a tutor. He appeared as a young boy with no father. He appeared as an old, wise man, freely giving his wisdom to four successive British kings. He was dotting old fool, who couldn't control his lust over beautiful women, who hold him in fear and contempt. He had even appeared as a madman after bloody battle, and had fled into the forest and learned how to talk to the animals, where he became known as the Wild Man of the Woods. Merlin was the last of the druid, the Celtic shaman, priest of nature, and keeper of knowledge, particularly of the arcane secrets.

Merlin (Illustration from middle-age old manuscript)

Although scholars tell those fascinated by the legend of Camelot that Merlin, Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot, are fictional creations, there are still those who seek out their graves. Some scholars point to a sixth-century writer and seer named Myrrdin, who went mad and took refuge in the Forest of Celydon when his king Gwenddolau was defeated at the Battle of Arderydd in 573.

Merlin first appears in the History of the Kings of Britain, (1135) a classic work by Geoffrey of Monmouth (c. 1100–1154). Merlin became the prophet associated with the quest for the Holy Grail. Other accounts detail how Merlin became trapped in a hawthorn tree, where he dwells forever. Some scholars think, this version restores the story of Myrddin, trapped by his madness in the forest.

Many scholars were puzzled over his birth, his magical power, his prophetic gifts and his mysterious yet often conflicting fate.

(Taken from many sources)

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